Becoming a Vtuber requires a lot of preparation to fully immerse yourself in streaming and hit the “Go Live” button for the first time. Figuring out the themes of your stream and getting a complete plan in place of what to do is all very complicated. But it doesn’t have to be very complicated. If you’re looking for tips on how to get started as a Vtuber, here are some recommendations on what to use and how to get started.
How to create or build a Vtuber avatar
If you’re new to building a Vtuber from scratch, there are many ways to go, whether it’s creating a custom avatar of your liking, buying a ready-made one, or even working with other artists to bring your vision to life.
The best software to create avatar Vtuber
For the more skilled aritsans, you can use illustration software like Procreate, Photoshop or ClipStudio Paint to create 2D assets for your avatar and then import them into rigging programs like Vtube Studio or Live2D Cubism. On the 3D side, it can get much more complex (and expensive) when creating a 3D model. Software like Blender is free, but can be quite daunting for new users.
Related: How To Make A Vtuber Avatar – Best Software To Use To Create A Vtuber
If you’re not so inclined to build from scratch, there are other Vtuber libraries and avatar creation software. Online sites that sell or distribute VR Chat models can be transferred to Vtuber programs. There is also software like Vroid Studio, which can make a Vtuber from pre-made assets, like assembling an action figure from parts.
If you want to build a Vtuber from scratch and want to get it up and running, this is where it can get a bit tricky. A great general tip would be to browse your favorite Vtubers on Twitch and check out their bios. Typically, most will list their Vtuber artists and have their own social links embedded in the bio below a stream. From there, it would be best to start contacting the artist through their website or social networks and see how they work. For a more scrutinized process, the Live2D Discord community has created Vtuber.GG. This website lists community-verified artists as relatively trustworthy and even lists the going rates for the artists listed. From then on, it is up to the curator and the artist to navigate the project from start to finish.
The best streaming platform and software.
Streamlabs and OBS
When it comes to streaming to the platform of your choice, the best streaming software is Streamlabs or the original OBS itself. Streamlabs is based on OBS’s own open source backbone, but has many features optimized for the average user to quickly go from setting up a stream to going live. Some features include things like direct integration with a digital store to buy and use packaged stream layouts, a refined collaboration experience with other streamers, and built-in chatbot moderation and interactive features.
OBS, or Open Broadcast Software, is the oldest streaming software solution, but it’s popular with Vtubers for its open source solutions and many plugins available on sites like GitHub and the OBS Project’s own forums. OBS is more complex and complicated than other streaming software, but the complexity comes with the added benefit of working with just about anything. Most of the Vtuber animation software is easily integrated into OBS by default. There are plugins developed by others that can help add additional features such as chat and interactivity integration, soundboards, etc.
Twitch and Youtube streams
If you’re looking to stream to a platform, typically the most popular option right now is Twitch. The biggest advantage over other streaming platforms is that Twitch has a stronger community and more robust features for chat interaction and streaming partnerships. In general, there is more of a foundation built over the years on Twitch compared to other platforms.
Recently, Youtube has been gaining ground as a competitor to Twitch by introducing more direct chat interactions, such as the ability to give away paid subscriptions, a revenue split that favors the streamer at 70/30 over Twitch’s current 50/50 split. Youtube also has the benefit of combining a video channel and your streaming platform into one unified account, so you can easily save long-form streams to the same account you stream on.
What are the best animation programs for Vtuber?
Luppet, Facerig and other animation software
When you have a Vtuber created, you need to choose a software to animate it with your own face tracking and/or voice activation.
For 2D Vtubers, the most popular options are Vtube Studio or Live2D Cubism. Both provide detailed solutions for manipulating and animating 2D avatars live. If you are using a Vtuber 3D, there are other options. Most users will use Facerig, which is free for personal use, but the biggest drawback is the lack of manual controls or rigging. If you’re looking for more complicated solutions, check out Luppet, which is often the gold standard for the best Vtuber 3D animation package due to the inclusion of manual controls that use a LeapMotion controller and webcam in tandem. Other recommendations would be VeeSeeFace, which is available at no cost and is an open source program with tons of flexible manipulation and animation options.
How to make or use broadcast graphics
Now that you have an attractive avatar, maybe your stream isn’t really that attractive. If you want to spice things up, then it’s time to consider creating a streaming design package. Animations and calls for things like subscribers, followers, and donations are things to look out for, along with an on-screen layout that shows your chat and follow feeds alongside your avatar.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to create your own, most streaming software accepts files from programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects, and Premiere. Common image and video file formats with transparent backgrounds, such as PNG or WEBM files, work best here. For lower cost options in addition to Adobe Creative Suite, check out programs like DaVinci Resolve, GIMP, or Corel Draw.
If you’re not the artistic type and want to hire an artist for a design, you can look for dedicated companies that do nothing more than pass on designs or purchase a ready-made design. For prepackaged solutions, you can get full streaming suites from places like Own3d.TV, Get Rekt Labs, and Streamplay. For a more customized solution, look into design studios and communities that specialize in streamer graphics. Get Rekt Labs also offers custom solutions at a higher cost.
Other sources of streaming graphs can include searching for communities on Discord or a private commission through Fiverr.